As the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry moves into 2023, businesses are solidifying their digital strategy and looking to maximize their people, processes, and technology to better serve their customers.
Digital product innovation is an opportunity for CPG businesses to create a better customer experience and stand out as a leader in the industry. Being able to achieve those goals ultimately fuels revenue growth and business success.
Here, we’ll dive into how digital product innovation fits into the CPG industry — why it’s important, its key benefits, and a great example of digital product innovation in action.
Why is digital product innovation important?
In today’s CPG industry, stagnation is the death of innovation. As more businesses focus on digital transformation, it’s no longer enough to simply “be digital.” Transformation requires continuous evolution. Digital product marketing is an essential part of that evolution, allowing you to step up and stand out, both in customers’ eyes and among competitors.
According to our 2022 B2B Buyer Report, 85% of B2B buyers stated they would turn to a competitor when a supplier’s digital channels can’t keep up. In a competitive CPG space that’s facing evolving market factors, businesses have even more pressure to stay relevant and resilient. Digital product innovation will help your business stand out from competitors and remain agile.
Innovation is important as customer expectations continue to rise. The key to successful digital product development is customer-centricity. Brands that listen to customers — using customer data, surveys, and even one-on-one conversations to make data-driven strategic decisions — will be more likely to develop digital products that deliver high value.
Whether in the B2B or B2C space, putting your customer at the center of your business means you’re better able to meet their needs and their (ever-evolving) expectations.
- According to our 2022 B2C Customer Report, 81% of consumers agree that brands should act like the customer is always right. Retailers who create an open dialogue with consumers stand to gain market share in the future.
- In the B2B space, 72% of B2B buyers have experienced frustration over a supplier’s resistance to changing their operations to better fit buyer needs. This highlights an opportunity to step into the space and relieve those top pain points in the buying journey.
Your business success depends on your ability to understand and meet customer needs, delivering value that builds long-term customer relationships and sets your brand apart.
Benefits of digital product development in CPG
For CPG businesses, digital product innovation can create a competitive advantage that helps future-proof your business. Your digital products have the power to highlight key differentiating qualities and show that your brand is customer-centric and innovative.
When done with a customer-centric approach, digital innovation provides value, significantly impacts your bottom line, and sets your brand apart. It can also set up the potential to scale your business or possibly disrupt the industry as a whole.
Innovative digital products will help you reach your customer more effectively and build loyalty. In both B2B and B2C industries, customers value accuracy and efficiency. Nearly half of B2C survey respondents said delivering correct and accurate orders was essential to feeling trust in a brand in 2021. And among B2B buyers, their top priority for the next 12 months is increasing efficiency in their processes.
With those priorities in mind, customers are looking for seamless buying experiences that provide ease-of-purchase. Customers in both B2C and B2B seek out user-friendly ecommerce experiences that offer accurate, up-to-date product information, transparency and tracking throughout the fulfillment process, efficiency in checkout and reordering, and convenient returns. Your digital products can not only make those aspects possible but also make them more user-friendly.
An important part of customer-centric digital product innovation is personalization. Customized products, relevant content, and tailored buying experiences help you connect with customers and give them exactly what they need. Customers appreciate innovation that provides that level of value: 94% of B2B buyers stated that they prefer to work with suppliers that are constantly evolving their digital capabilities. Great digital products show you understand the customer and keep them at the center of your business.
As you bring your 2023 strategy to life, it’s crucial to be intentional in your digital product design. Think about how you can maximize your resources to optimize the customer experience, and identify which digital products truly support your strategy. Customer-centric, innovative brands will be positioned as leaders in the CPG industry and build stronger customer relationships that fuel business growth.
Case Study: Kellogg’s / Bear Naked
Our work with Bear Naked, a subsidiary of Kellogg’s, is a great example of digital product innovation in CPG. While this example is in the B2C space, it has relevant applications to B2B as well.
Bear Naked creates unique blends of granola. The company wanted to create a direct-to-consumer eCommerce platform that would not compete against its channel partners and allow for product customization.
The eCommerce solution allowed customers to create their own custom-blend granola, all while operating off their existing Salesforce environment. Thanks to digital product innovation, Bear Naked was able to maximize their technology to provide a personalized experience to their customers.
More than 15,000 flavor profiles were created. Bear Naked now has access to detailed customer information that helps them with current and future business decisions.
In the CPG industry, 2023 will be a year to embrace change and create a culture of innovation. Prioritizing customer-centric digital transformation will help drive your business into the next year and beyond.
Ready to get started? Contact a digital transformation team member, or download our “How To Prioritize Customer-Centric Digital Transformation” white paper.